By Ethan Miller ’23
After 2 straight losses, the Buckskins needed a jolt of energy to get the momentum back on their side. On Friday, RB Nick Tran provided more than just a jolt – he scorched the J.P. McCaskey Red Tornado in a dominant performance to give the Buckskins a much-needed blowout win against a rival.
The game started out well for CV immediately, as despite the Red Tornado starting with the ball, the Buckskin defense forced a turnover on downs to give the ball to the offense. The offensive drive stalled out at midfield, forcing a punt, which McCaskey promptly muffed. Junior Andrew Hoffner recovered the fumble at the McCaskey 7, allowing the offense to set up shop with great field position. On the first play of that possession, Tran scampered around the outside to score a 7-yard touchdown, giving the Bucks an early 7-0 lead. On the ensuing kickoff, the Tornado returned it all the way for a touchdown that tied the game up at 7, which was how the first quarter ended.
Midway through the second quarter, the Buckskins struck again. Once again, it was Tran for the score, this time for 18 yards. The touchdown gave CV a 14-7 lead. On the following drive for McCaskey, Carter May recovered a fumble that ended a Tornado drive that had them deep in CV territory at the time of the turnover. 7 plays later, QB Macoy Kneisley found wideout Jaiyell Plowden in the endzone for a 13 yard touchdown pass, making the score 21-7 Bucks. It would stay that way at the half.
The third quarter saw the Buckskins receiving the ball to start the second half. On that drive, they went right down the field in a commanding drive that put the Tornado away. Tran scored his third touchdown of the evening with another 7-yard score on the ground, making it 28-7. When asked about his performance, Tran was complimentary of the rest of his team, saying, “I believe the offensive line had an important part in me rushing that great.”
The defense held strong for the remainder of the third, and the Buckskins were up by 21 entering the fourth.
The offense didn’t slow down in the fourth quarter, and neither did the defense. On their first drive of the quarter, the Buckskin offense slowly made their way downfield, leaning on secondary running back Tyler Klopp. The senior carried 4 times on the drive, capping it off with a 10 yard run, giving CV a 35-7 lead. Klopp finished the night with 5 carries for 22 yards and a TD, giving him an average YPC of 4.4. McCaskey returned another kick for a touchdown, but the score was called back by a personal foul penalty against the Tornado. From there on out, the defense continued to stifle the McCaskey offense, not allowing any more points to score.
Due to the only McCaskey points coming on a kick return, the defense technically pitched a shutout – no simple feat. Kicker Jaden Walker had a stellar game as well, going 5/5 on extra point tries on top of several deep kickoffs, even getting a touchback on one. Kneisley had an efficient game through the air, completing 6 of 9 attempts for 73 yards and a touchdown. Most importantly, however, was the fact that he didn’t turn the ball over once. Jaiyell Plowden led the team in receiving with over 40 yards through the air.
The win moves CV to 2-3 in the win-loss column. Up next, the Buckskins travel to Elizabethtown to face the E-Town Bears, who sit at 3-2 on the season.
Player of the Week
How can the award not go to Nick Tran? Another spectacular game from the junior running back makes him the first repeat POTW winner of the season with another dominant performance from the backfield. Tran rushed for 155 yards on 23 carries – an average of nearly 7 yards per carry! He also scored 3 touchdowns on the ground from distances of 7, 18, and 7 yards. This is Tran’s second POTW award of the year.
Week 1: WR Avery Tran
Week 2: RB Nick Tran
Week 3: OLB Michael Burnett
Week 4: QB Macoy Kneisley